Learn more about the colorful History of the Riverview Lodge and old Kernville.
This picturesque lodging establishment has undergone several incarnations before taking the present name of River view Lodge. It was born into the true “Wild West” as the Mountain Inn, when Old Kernville was home to ranchers, cowboys, milhands, miners and other seekers of fortune.It became the place to gather for town folk and careless cowboys alike, pulsing to life on Saturday nights with music, dancing, untamed polker games and colorful characters.
The movie industry discovered Old Kernville late in the 1920’s. the rugged, breathtaking panoramas of the Sierra Navada’s and the Kern River became the filming location of choice, distinguishable in numerous “Westerns” of that era and later, in the 1950’s when television companies exploded into existence, with productions such as Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Bonanza, The Waltons, and a long list of others. By this time the old inn had been rescued and moved to it’s present location up-river, on the banks of the Kern, to survive the government-built dam that would flood the old town and create Lake Isabella, in 1953. It was called the Sierra South Lodge in those days. But the long tradition of accommodating the famous casts and crews of the movie and television industries continued. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Rod Cammeron, Audie Murphy, Tom Mix, Andy Devine, Yvonne Decarlo, Harry Carry and Gabby Hayes are just a few of the celebrities who mingled with the old-timers at the lodge during this filming days in the rugged valley.
These days, most of the guests of River View Lodge are attracted by the myriad outdoor recreational activities, such as white-water rafting, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, rock climbing, near-by golfing, water skiing and snow skiing in season, as well as the annual Kernville Kayak races and local festivities like Whiskey Flats Days. Stroll to near-by shops and eateries, enjoy a picnic in the park or shaded children’s playground, or simply relax beneath the giant Mulberries and listen to the rolling Kern form the colorful courtyard at the heart of the historic River View Lodge.
© Riverview Lodge